Gender differences in the longitudinal structure of cognitive diatheses for depression in children and adolescents


  • This research was supported in part by an endowment from Patricia and Rodes Hart, a grant numbers R01MH64650 from the National Institute on Mental Health, and P30HD15052 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to Vanderbilt University.


In a school-based, four-wave, longitudinal study, children (grades 4–7) and young adolescents (grades 6–9) completed questionnaires measuring depressive symptoms and depressive cognitions, including positive and negative cognitions on the Cognitive Triad Inventory for Children (CTI-C; Kaslow, Stark, Printz, Livingston, & Tsai, 1992) and self-perceived competence on the Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC; Harter, 1985). Application of the Trait-State-Occasion model (Cole, Martin, & Steiger, 2005) revealed the existence of a time-invariant trait factor and a set of time-varying occasion factors. Gender differences emerged, indicating that some cognitive diatheses were more trait-like for girls than for boys (i.e., positive and negative cognitions on the CTI-C; self-perceived physical appearance and global self-worth on the SPPC). Implications focus on the emergent gender difference in depression, the design of longitudinal studies, and clinical decisions about the implementation of prevention versus intervention programs. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 65:1–15, 2009.